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Who is responsible for doing the Fair Market Value Estimate of a condo being considered for Ch. 13 lein stripping of the second?

Salinas, CA |
Filed under: Chapter 13 bankruptcy

My condo first mortgage is 157K, my defaulted second is 165K, credit card debt 80K, back HOA fees owed with lien is 6K. I see on zillow my house is estimated to be worth 159K. I understand my house value needs to be less than 157k to do lien stripping. Who does the estimate for the FMV of the condo? I desperately want to eliminate my debt in Ch. 13 now that I am employed again. How far below the value of the first mortgage does the FMV have to be for a judge to grant it? I am SO CLOSE!

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    It is your burden to prove the value of the house is less than the first mortgage. This is normally done either through and appraiser or a real estate broker. You only have to prove that the first is $1 more than the value to strip the second. You might check with the title company to see if the lien of the HOA is considered ahead of the second in which case the liens ahead of the second would equal $163,000.00 .

    The answer above is for general information purposes only. You should talk to an attorney to determine your specific legal rights.


  2. You would be responsible for providing the appraisal in your lien strip paperwork.


  3. You are asking the court to make a ruling. With that request, you are responsible for providing evidence to back it up. The other side can respond and provide the court evidence that contradicts yours. There are no guarantees in law, and especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So, short answer: you're responsible for providing your own evidence, which the court may or may not give much weight to. I hope this helps.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your attorney unless we both sign a written contract that describes our relationship and terms of the representation. Any information provided to you here is not a substitute for the advice you need to pursue any legal matter. I advise you to retain the services of a local attorney before taking any legal action in this matter.


  4. Zillion is NOT a reliable way of valuing your property. If you already have a chapter 13 attorney he or she may be able to suggest a realtor for a Comparative Market Analysis that would be sufficient for a lien strip or an appraiser for a formal appraisal of the property. With the value so close I would not be at all surprised if the second mortgage lender objects to the motion and provides an appraisal or BPO disputing your valuation. The more thorough your valuation is, the better chance you will have of success. Do NOT attempt to do this without an experienced attorney representing you.


  5. If you want to lienstrip, you have to provide the evidence. Although the courts throughout the US vary as to what evidence is considered persuasive if the lender doesn't object to your motion, you don't want to walk into court with no evidence & your pants down.

    Getting a certified appraisal costs some money. You are not Tony Soprano & you can't tell your appraiser what value you want him to put down because the appraiser is an independent professional. If the value of your house is $1 below the balance of your 1st loan, you can lienstrip it. Hire an experienced Chapter 13 to handle this - it will be well worth it!

    Hope this perspective helps!

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